INTRO: The little book of Obadiah has the distinction of being the shortest of the Old Testament books! But its brevity does not diminish the potential for some very important lessons for life. Another thing which makes this little book unusual from the rest of the prophets is the fact that it is addressed to Edom! Now, the fact that Edom comes into view in a prophetic book is not so unusual. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel all refer to Edom as do others of the Minor Prophets. And the tenor of what is said in those books is in large part similar to what is said in Obadiah. But the little book of Obadiah is directed toward the fate of Edom ... the cousins of Israel. So, we turn our attention to the prominent lessons to be learned here.
I. THE FATEFUL RESULTS OF PRIDE
A. 1:3 refers to the pride of thine heart
1. pride is a heart problem
2. and since it is a heart problem, it will affect the whole person
3. the prophet refers to an entire nation enveloped in this hear problem
B. What has happened here is that pride hath deceived thee
1. and this is one of the very real, present dangers of pride
2. 1 Cor 10:12 - pride causes us to see ourselves in a warped, inaccurate way
3. at 1:4 is though thou exalt thyself- compare with Rom 12:3
C. Some things we need to hear about pride?
1. Prov 16:5 - Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord...I
2. Prov 16:18 - Pride goeth before destruction...
3. according to 1:8 the destruction of Edom would be Gods doing - while in life we may survive with our pride, in the judgment God will most assuredly take the proud in hand!
II. PRIDE MAY TAKE WARPED PLEASURE IN THE HURTS OF OTHERS
A. 1:10 notes that it was Edoms violence against cousins which brought her fall
1. at 1:11 proud Edom was as one of the enemies of her cousins
2. notice at 1:12 - ...neither shouldest thou have rejoiced ...in the day of their destruction...
3. so caught up in the pride of her heart was Edom that the Edomites even cut off those of his that did excape... (1:14)
B. Now, is this something we would admit? Initiate action?
1. probably not ... neither did Edom
2. but here is a graphic picture of reality - which shows us the ugliness of pride
3. finding pleasure in the downfall of another ... pride just cannot bear the thought of anothers standing taller (this is one of the reasons leadership can be so difficult and, at times, very unpleasant)
III. GODS JUDGMENT WILL BE BASED ON OUR OWN BEHAVIOR
A. So, 1:15...as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee...
1. often, this will be the case even in this life
2. for example, Rom 1:27
3. as we have mentioned in previous lessons, the day of the Lord (1:15) most often refers to times of Gods judgment ... and what would happen to Edom was the justice of God ... righteous judgment
B. Rest assured that in the judgment there will be no errors, no partiality, etc.
1. 2 Cor 5:10 - this is always the manner of Gods judgments
2. Gal 6:7 - but pride does deceive us and cause us to believe we are above the judgments of God!
3. there is something very haunting about these words: thy reward shall return upon thine own head
IV. NOTHING WILL DETER GODS ULTIMATE PURPOSE
A. Notice the last words of the little book
1. 1:21 - ...and the kingdom shall be the Lords
2. throughout history it would seem that Gods ultimate purpose has been sorely tested
3. Satan did everything he could to hinder, retard, ruin Gods plan to redeem
B. But at the end of the day, the kingdom is still the Lords
1. and so it is today that the church/kingdom of the Lord survives
2. all of the ugliness, the pride, the contention, the enemies which pound it may seem to slow its growth, its progress
3. but nothing will keep the Lord from accomplishing his purpose in His church
CLOSE: Was there any wiggle room for Edom? Was there any ambivalence on the part of God? Here are some powerful and final words: for the Lord hath spoken it. So, tonight, I would propose that each us needs to examine his heart. Whats there? Is there anything that could cause you to suffer the fate of Gods judgment?
Cecil A. Hutson
06 April 2003
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)